Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

I love this movie.

Shooting a burst of much needed oxygen into the current scene, this very lively winner thrives on its unabashed love of film and innovative yet poignant storytelling. Thanks to the remarkably assured hand of director Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, Jesse Andrews’ adaptation of his own novel becomes what I’d hoped The Fault in Our Stars could have been: a marvelously impactful piece that, in taking death head on, celebrates the complex vibrancy of life.

Thomas Mann leads a universally excellent cast as Greg, a gangly high school senior who’s happy to skate through potential entrapments by adapting just enough to get by. His only real passion plays out in his experimental filmmaking which he does with R.J.Cyler’s Earl, a fellow student Greg refers to as not a friend, but more of a business partner. It’s when Greg’s mom (Connie Britton) forces him to hang out with Rachel (Olivia Cooke) because she’s just been diagnosed with cancer, his world begins to change. And no, it’s not the love story sentimental hearts might want. Although in the most wonderful definition of the word, in almost every relationship Greg has in this film, yes, it is very much a love story.

The gleeful energy of much of this film is irresistible. Anyone who loves movies will love the unfettered, joyous pictures Greg and Earl make. These are kids who hide out during lunch watching Scorsese documentaries and make animated satires called A Sockwork Orange. Not sold yet? Then wait till you see how these indie-coolsters slowly melt when they make actual friends with someone with actual drama.

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